Autumn is in full swing and before you know it, the frigid temperatures of winter will be here. While it’s fun to focus on holidays and gatherings with family and friends, don’t forget about the home maintenance requirements that come with the change in seasons.
There are likely several things you’ll need to do to winterize your home to keep it warm, cozy and operating efficiently for the winter season. Here are some of our winterizing must-dos:
Bring The Outdoors In
Well, not all of it. But, if space allows, you’ll want to clean and store outdoor furniture and grills (minus the propane tank). If space is at a premium, invest in some good covers to protect these items from the winter elements. You’ll also want to bring in any potted plants before it gets anywhere near freezing.
Be proactive and schedule a check-up with your HVAC company instead of waiting for an issue to pop up (likely when it’s -10 out!). Your HVAC company will clean out ducts, lubricate equipment and ensure that your furnace is running optimally and cost-effectively for the winter season. While you’re getting your furnace ready to go, don’t forget to swap out filters.
Before you hole up for the winter season, you’ll want to do a thorough check of the areas around windows and doors to identify where air is getting in. To test where drafts exist, enlist the help of a family member to run a hair dryer along the edges of windows and doors while you stand outside with a candle.
If the candle wavers or goes out, there’s an issue! Use caulking and weather stripping to seal any gaps and cut down on drafts. You can even take this one step further and install window plastic to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. You’ll be glad you did when you get your winter heating bill!
Drain Your Pipes
This one can really cost you if you forget to do it, or don’t do it right. Be sure to drain air conditioner pipes, irrigation system pipes, hoses, and any other plumbing systems subject to outdoor winter temperatures. Cover any exterior pipes or hose bibs with foam pipe cover.
“Water left in exterior plumbing system will freeze and cause the pipes to rupture, causing an expensive repair, so take care of this task well before the temperatures hit freezing.”
Prep The Fireplace
Relaxing by the fire is one of the best parts of winter, so get yourself ready for it! Get the chimney swept out and make sure that the damper is functioning as it should. Store your firewood in a place where it will both stay dry and remain accessible. When that first chilly evening arrives, you’ll be ready!
Your home is likely one of your largest investments, so don’t leave its winter readiness to chance. Take a weekend to prep your home for the winter elements, and your wallet will thank you!